UPDATED 14:23 EDT / APRIL 02 2019


Segment raises $175M for its customer data platform

Companies collect data about customers via their websites, apps and a variety of other channels, but they often can’t combine the information into a meaningful whole due to integration challenges. Segment Inc., a startup working to ease the task, today announced that it has raised $175 million from a group of top-tier investors.

The round was co-led by Alphabet Inc.’s GV fund, Accel and Meritech Capital. Several existing backers, including Y Combinator, chipped in as well.

The capital should help Segment widen the adoption of its namesake data management platform, which enables companies to take customer records from their disparate marketing tools, blend them and send the combined files to their analytics application of choice. That allows marketing teams to process all the information they have about customers centrally without having to build their own custom data integrations. 

A retailer, for example, might use Segment to blend buyer behavior information from its website with in-store purchase records. Business analysts could then mine the combined data set to identify in-demand products that should be prioritized in marketing campaigns.

For scenarios that warrant a more granular view, Segment provides a tool called Personas. It lets companies create a profile for each customer that incorporates all the available information on that person, from their buying history to which marketing emails they opened. Meanwhile, in the background, Segment takes care of nitty-gritty data management tasks such as filtering duplicate records.

The startup said its platform is used by “thousands” of companies worldwide. IBM Corp., Docker Inc. and Levi Strauss & Co. are some of the big names that rely on Segment in their marketing operations.

Today’s round brings the total amount of funding the startup has raised so far to $284 million. Segment didn’t disclose its valuation, but an anonymous source told Bloomberg that it’s now worth $1.5 billion.

The startup has big plans for the new capital. Segment Chief Technology Officer Calvin French-Owen wrote in a blog post that his team will develop more tools to help companies protect customer privacy, as well as release features for improving data quality. Segment also plans to open multiple new offices worldwide as part of a hiring push that will significantly expand its currently 350-person workforce.

Photo: Unsplash

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